Cloud Politics

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Cloud politics, in this instance, is a virtual worm hole everyday Americans used a few days ago to engage President Obama in the first virtual interview from the White House.

What do you think about using this medium as a new way for engaging politicians?  Skype vs. letter/classrooms?

Senator Isakson’s response, SOPA/PIPA

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Dear Mrs. Banks:

Thank you for contacting me regarding intellectual property theft.  I appreciate hearing from you and I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

S.968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property (PROTECT IP) Act of 2011, was introduced by Senator Leahy (D-VT) on May 12, 2011, and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  On May 26, 2011, it was reported out of Committee and is currently pending in the Senate.   The bill targets websites, particularly those registered outside of the United States, which are “dedicated to infringing activities.”  These rogue websites typically offer unauthorized downloading or streaming of copyrighted content or the sale of counterfeit goods including music, movies, and pharmaceutical drugs.

Websites targeted by this bill are foreign owned and outside the reach of U.S. laws despite the fact U.S. intellectual property is being infringed upon and U.S. consumers are the targets.  Rogue websites cost American workers jobs and cost businesses millions of dollars in lost revenue.  As online technology and commerce advances, we must see to it that injured parties have the ability to stop infringers from profiting from counterfeit products.  For example, a victim of infringement will have the authority to file a civil action against the owner or registrant of a rogue site.  If an order is granted by the court, third parties will be required to stop processing payments from the infringing sites, therefore, preventing infringers from collecting payments.  I will work to ensure that our laws our modernized to protect intellectual property, and will keep your thoughts on this bill in mind should it come before the Senate for a vote.

Thank you again for contacting me.  Please visit my webpage at for more information on the issues important to you and to sign up for my e-newsletter.
Johnny Isakson
United States Senator

For future correspondence with my office, please visit my web site at You can also click here to sign up for the eNewsletter

Technology’s paradox

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Technology is simultaneously burning and building bridges between humans.

Not having any children, it’s always interesting to hear the trials and tribulations parents and their children are going through in the new millenium.  One of the most fascinating stressors appears to be the infiltration of technology and how how its changing the way kids seek information – previously only doled out by the sage advice from parents.  In this sense, technology (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, chat rooms, etc.) is driving a virtual wedge between the time-honored tradition of children turning to their parents for advice and information.

While at the same time, technology has brought the world’s citizens closer together.

This blog, for example, will be read by people I will NEVER never meet in person.  However, I’m able to directly communicate with those same individuals who may live on the other side of the planet 😯 – how amazing is that?

This week’s events surrounding the SOPA/PIPA bills, in my opinion, epitomized the essence of this paradox. Regulating our ability to do what?


Congressman Lewis’ response, SOPA/PIPA

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Dear Mrs. Banks:

Thank you for contacting me about H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and S. 968, the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

Protecting intellectual property on the Internet is a complicated issue with several different proposals pending before Congress.  The bills which have received the most attention — SOPA and PIPA — are pending before the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, on which I do not serve.

I understand your concerns about the importance of protecting intellectual property without harming free speech, innovation, or creativity.  This is a delicate balance to strike and I am committed to ensuring no Americans’ rights or freedoms are infringed upon.  I believe that a consensus on the issue between the content and technology industries is achievable.  Until this is achieved, I cannot support the current forms of SOPA or PIPA.

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the bill with witnesses from all sides of the debate in November and began marking up the bill last December.  After two days of discussion and amendments, the House Judiciary Committee indefinitely delayed action on SOPA.

Recently, the House Speaker announced that this legislation will not be considered in the full House of Representatives until consensus is reached, and the many outstanding issues are resolved.  It is unclear what, if any, action is expected in the Senate.  In order for a bill to be signed into law, the identical legislation must pass through both bodies of Congress and much work remains.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with me; I truly value your perspective on this important issue.  As always, please feel free to visit my web site at for more information on legislation that interests you.


John Lewis
Member of Congress